• Ellen

Picking my options

Not all degrees give you much choice on what modules you can take, I have friends that don't get any choice until 3rd year! It's both a blessing and a curse, it gives me the freedom to tailor the degree to me and my interests but also boggles my brain with so many options!!

Call me crazy but I bothered to count how many option choices I have for semester 1 this year, it came to 80! So, seeing as semester 2 clearly had a longer list I chose not to count those as well, I think we can just accept the fact I have over 80 options a semester, to choose from.

I think it's best if I explain how options, core and electives work before I delve into module choices. First off, a core module is something I have to take in order to get my degree. Optional choices are a large selection of modules from across the many degrees at my university that I can choose from and I have to pick a certain amount each year to gain the credits I need to progress to the next year. Most modules are worth 15 credits each, with some year long modules being worth 30 credits. An elective module is generally a language module that you can take on top of your normal degree program and everyone at my university has that option. However, on liberal arts we can take languages as our options and or our electives. In my first year I took languages as my options rather than as an elective, which meant that they counted towards my degree and weren't extra.

This year I have 5 options that I have to pick, 2 in each semester and the 5th can be placed in either semester, in short I have 75 credits to fill with options. I am hoping before we have to officially register our options they will announce that they will be running BSL at a higher level so I can carry it on from last year. This would take up 2 of my options as I would rather take it as an option than an elective (that makes extra work!). At the time of writing I am looking at taking in semester 1: Russian politics and society, Environmental politics and policy and Globalisation and its discontents. Then in semester 2: Natural cultures: humans and their environments since 1700 and International relations of Eurasia: challenges of globalisation and geopolitics.

They were the main modules that caught my eye although I have debated a few others such as music in German culture, crime morality and media, thinking photography and several others. As you have probably guessed by now my list to choose from was quite diverse, I can pick modules from music, media, politics and international relations, philosophy, history, economics, business management, the social sciences and many other areas.

On top of my options I have 3 core modules this year, in semester 1 I have Creative arts and humanities in society. In semester 2 I am studying research methods, but from a sociological point of view. Then finally I have a year long module called interdisciplinary perspectives on wicked problems. Honestly I love the title of that one!!😂

Choice in my degree is something that I find very special when I talk to friends and family that are doing or have done a degree, as even those that get option choices are often still fairly limited. I feel that it really helps me to fit the degree around my interests while still giving me a firm base in philosophy, humanities and the social sciences. I often change my interests, its not uncommon for me to be interested in one thing for 6 months then jump on to the next, I think it would have been really hard to commit to a single subject degree for 3 years of my life! If you like to look at different topics all the time then you would probably enjoy the fast pace and diversity of a liberal arts degree. The benefit is that you are keeping most of your doors open rather than narrowing them down to a small collection of career choices, yes there are jobs that need specialised degrees but there are plenty out there that don't. In fact a lot of job applications these days just want you to have a degree, they fairly often don't even care what subject you took. The only annoyance of a liberal arts degree is explaining that no it is not an art degree. Until next time...

.... and don't forget to ask any questions you have!

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